“These ideas that he pronounced yesterday are racist in application,” Harry …

11 Dec 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Dems slam Scalia over affirmative action comments.

The White House on Thursday blasted Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia for his rant a day earlier over whether aspiring African-American scientists are “advanced” enough to attend top-tier schools. “I think the comments articulated by Justice Scalia represent quite a different view than the priorities and values that President Obama has spent his career talking about,” White House spokesman Josh Earnest said during a briefing. “The idea that African-American students are somehow inherently intellectually inferior from other students is despicable,” Reid said on the Senate floor. “It’s a throwback … to a time that America left behind a half a century ago.” The Nevada senator said the idea that black students should be pushed out of top universities into lesser schools is “unacceptable,” adding that he felt Scalia’s screed was full of “racist ideas.” “That Justice Scalia could raise such an uninformed idea shows just how out of touch he is with the values of this nation,” Reid said. “It goes without saying that an African-American student has the same potential to succeed in an academically challenging environment as any other student.” Reid went on to compare Scalia’s remarks to a proposal offered earlier this week by presidential candidate Donald Trump to bar all Muslims from entering the U.S. “The only difference between the ideas endorsed by Trump and Scalia is that Scalia has a robe and a lifetime appointment,” Reid said. “Ideas like this don’t belong on the Internet, let alone the mouths of national figures.” On Wednesday, during oral arguments in a critical case about affirmative action, Scalia suggested that “most of the black scientists in the U.S.” benefit from not being admitted into top-tier programs. “There are those who contend that it does not benefit African-Americans to, to get them into the University of Texas, where they do not do well, as opposed to have them go to a less-advanced school, a less – a slower-track school where they do well,” he said. “One of the briefs pointed out that most of the black scientists in this country don’t come from schools like the University of Texas,” he added. “They come from lesser schools where they not feel that they’re being pushed ahead in classes that are too fast for them.” In fact, the number of African-Americans who have gone on to receive doctorates in science and engineering-related fields grew by more than 50% from 2002 to 2011, according to statistics from the National Science Foundation. Harry Reid said Thursday morning that Scalia had “endorsed” racist ideas while a leading African-American lawmaker said Scalia should rescue himself from the case. “Justice Scalia’s comments were disgusting, inaccurate, and insulting to African Americans, and his statements undervalue the historic achievements we have made,” said Rep. According to the study, Scalia’s struggles to perform his duties in a competent fashion stem from his being inappropriately placed on a court that is “too demanding” for a person of his limited abilities. “Forcing Justice Scalia to weigh in on complex legal issues that he lacks the background or aptitude to comprehend is, at the end of the day, cruel,” the study said. The justices’ renewed interest in her case is a sign that the court’s conservative majority is poised to cut back, or even end, affirmative action in higher education. Reid then sought to tie Scalia to Donald Trump’s plan to bar Muslims from the United States. “The top two Republican leaders … in the United States have said they will support Donald Trump if he’s nominated.

If he had said students benefit from different learning environments, or that not all students are ready for the rigors of a particular college, I probably would not be writing this. Instead he suggested the “really competent blacks” might benefit from going to “lesser” schools, and used that as a justification for schools with more competitive admissions standards to reject black applicants.

A New York Times editorial accused Scalia of positing an “offensive premise”—never mind whether or not it is true—“which has not gotten such a full airing at the Supreme Court since the 1950s.” The paper’s Adam Liptak reported that Scalia’s remarks “drew muted gasps in the courtroom.” Living up to its reputation as the Times for infants, New York’s Daily News put Scalia on its front page, with a headline that screams “SUPREME DOPE.” The subheadline reads “Justice Scalia’s racist rant ripped.” Below it is a paraphrase of what Scalia said, which the News misleadingly puts in quotation marks. The lead paragraph of the News’s “news” story by Adam Edelman: “What a supremely outrageous thing to say.” Edelman’s story includes this dubious appeal to authority: “Scalia’s comments . . . troubled civil rights activists across the country, including the Rev. The brief referenced a study indicating that minority students are less likely to major in science or engineering if their test scores and grade point averages put them in the bottom half of the admitting class at their institution.

Al Sharpton.” None of these detractors bothered acknowledging the scholarly provenance of Scalia’s observation, which Richard Sander, a law professor at UCLA, elaborated yesterday in an essay published by the John William Pope Center for Higher Education Policy: Scholars began empirically studying the mismatch issue in the 1990s, but in the past five years the field has matured. The brief also suggested that UT could help minorities if it found black students who were admitted to MIT and convince them that their chances of success would be better at a less selective school.

But in my view, only demagogues (of which there is, unfortunately, no shortage) or people who haven’t read the relevant literature can still claim that mismatch is not a genuine problem. Several studies have now found that college students are much more likely to form friendships with students who have similar levels of academic preparation or performance at college. The phenomenon operates even within racial groups, but when a college’s preferences are highly correlated with race (as they are at many elite schools), social mismatch can lead to self-segregation by blacks and/or Hispanics. Contrary to the Times, he aired it more fully than Scalia did yesterday: The [University of Michigan] Law School tantalizes unprepared students with the promise of a University of Michigan degree and all of the opportunities that it offers. You have to show, when you are treating different States differently, that there’s a good reason for it So what we heard from Scalia this week is nothing new.

However, he would never suggest that schools deny admission to sons and daughters of white alums who have gotten a leg up in the process due to family ties. Indeed, to cover the tracks of the aestheticists, this cruel farce of racial discrimination must continue–in selection for the Michigan Law Review, . . . and in hiring at law firms and for judicial clerkships—until the “beneficiaries” are no longer tolerated. Scalia’s comments are the bigotry of lower expectations expanded to policy and a return to Jim Crow-era code words for “you all don’t belong here.” I would like to say that Scalia is better than this, but once again he is proving me wrong. The National Conference of State Legislatures states that Arizona, California, Florida, Michigan, New Hampshire, Nebraska, Oklahoma, and Washington all bar race from being used in college admissions. While these students may graduate with law degrees, there is no evidence that they have received a qualitatively better legal education (or become better lawyers) than if they had gone to a less “elite” law school for which they were better prepared.

And the aestheticists will never address the real problems facing “underrepresented minorities,” instead continuing their social experiments on other people’s children. It’s worth noting that Justice Thomas is black, and that Harry Reid once mocked him as an “embarrassment” whose “opinions are poorly written”—in contrast with Justice Scalia, whom Reid praised as “one smart guy” whose reasoning is “very hard to dispute.” The court’s decision in what is known as Fisher II will almost certainly come down to Justice Anthony Kennedy, author of Fisher I (2013), in which a 7-1 majority sent the case back to the Fifth Circuit with orders that it apply the constitutional standard of “strict scrutiny” to the university’s racial preferences. (Justice Elena Kagan recused herself from both cases.) Kennedy dissented from Grutter, which upheld Michigan’s racial preferences, on the ground that the court had failed to apply strict scrutiny, instead accepting at face value the petitioner’s claim that preferences were necessary to promote “the educational benefits that flow from a diverse student body.” But Kennedy, unlike Scalia and Thomas, endorsed the premise that those benefits constitute a “compelling interest” that would justify preferences if the other components of the strict-scrutiny test can be met.

It has occurred to this columnist that the recent unrest on campuses across the country—including demands for censorship in the name of creating “safe spaces” for minorities—call into question the educational-benefits-of-diversity premise, which has never been clearly defined. That of course did not come up during yesterday’s oral arguments, since it isn’t part of the fact pattern of the Fisher case, which has been in litigation for years. Chief Justice John Roberts asked Gregory Garre, the lawyer representing UT, how the university measures “whether the plan is working.” His response: We looked . . . to student body enrollment. We look at feedback from students; from faculty—after all, this is an academic judgment, as the Court said in the [2003] Fisher case, and certainly said in the Grutter and the Bakke case[s]—we look to the racial climate, including incidents.

That’s rather unclear, but it seems to suggest that “incidents” reflecting a hostile “racial climate” themselves provide justification for preferences aimed at increasing minority enrollment. It is repugnant both to our Constitution and to our history.”—Dick Morris, TheHill.com, Dec. 8 “(I don’t even use that man’s name in my columns anymore. Federal health officials say insurers and medical providers that discriminate against transgender individuals by denying transition-related care are violating the law. When Our Lady J learned this fall that the Writers Guild of America health plan, which provides an insurance plan for writers in Hollywood, does not cover transition-related care, she was distraught.

It reminded her of a darker time in her life, when she was suicidal and struggled with substance abuse, largely as a result of being unable to afford the medical care she needed. Thanks to Michele Schiesser, Miguel Rakiewicz, Ryan Cosgrove, Monty Krieger, Debbie Wells, George Leef, Greg Chalekian, MIchael Smith, Andrew Good, John Schoenecker, Brent Burkholder, Aaron Spetner, Rod Pennington, Bruce Goldman, Mike Lavender, David Hallstrom, Mordecai Bobrowsky, Wes Van Fleet, Peter Bylsma, Irene DeBlasio and Eugene Hiigel.

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